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'Outlander' Actor Tim Downie Discusses his 'Twisted' Character, Governor Tryon

Gettyimages | Michael Kovac
By Francesca O'Hern

The hit Starz series Outlander is back, and with it, a whole lot of romance, action, and drama. After a year-long "Droughtlander," fans were eager to take in anything they could regarding the show. So, Tim Downie, who reprises his villainous role from season four, Governer Tryon, the head of the North Carolina province, sat down with Entertainment Weekly journalist Maureen Lee Lenker. They discussed his role on the show and took a deep dive into what might happen with his character this season.

Governor Tryon is "The Devil Incarnate"

Giphy | Outlander

Governor Tryon is the latest in a string of wicked villains who have tried to get in the way of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie's (Sam Heughan) happiness. Downie knows his character is despicable, and he's okay with that. In fact, he "absolutely" relishes it, and enjoys playing someone so "Machiavellian and twisted and power-hungry." He also admits that he was worried about the Outlander fandom would treat him, but assured Entertainment Weekly that the fandom has been incredibly gracious and kind, "considering, for all intents and purposes, I am the devil incarnate."

Tim Downie Has Not Read All the Outlander Books

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Tim Downie admitted to only having read the first two books in the Outlander series, and not even finishing the second one. But he insists he has a good reason: His character doesn't appear until book four anyway, and Governor Tryon was actually a real person, so Downie preferred to go off the scripts he was given as well as historical research he did on his own. Normally, he said, he doesn't even go that far when building a character: Downie loves to be surprised by his character's actions in each script he reads.

What Does Tryon Think of Jamie?

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Obviously, Tryon and Jamie are not huge fans of each other, but since they're forced to work together, they can't be at each other's throats outright. Downie revealed to Lenker that Tryon is suspicious of Jamie, but not for the reasons we might think: Tryon doesn't necessarily think that Jamie is secretly allied with Murtagh, but does not trust him anyway, because he's Scottish. This distrust, he says, creates a very interesting tension between the two men, in which each is expecting the other to betray him first.

What About the Other Characters?

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While his main rival is Jamie, Downie is interested to see where his character's relationships go with Claire and Jocasta as well. As for Jocasta, although the two seem to be getting pretty cozy, "He would just look at Jocasta and think money," says Downie, explaining that the relationship likely won't get too serious or romantic. As for Claire, she might be of use to Tryon for her medical skills: "She helped his friend in the last season when he had the hernia, so he’s seen firsthand how useful something like that is and how rare in this new land. That could come into play as well in his decisions." Keep watching season 5 of Outlander to see how these relationships play out!

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